The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Word Clock sync on two separate workstations
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 
bluedot's Avatar
Word Clock sync on two separate workstations

I had been using a master word clock for about a decade to sync two different Mac Book Pro's, running Ableton Live & Motu 828's. We sync'd with MIDI, and the master word clock seemed to tighten up the sync. Or at least I thought it did! We did a lot of live remixing those years.

Fast forward to today. We're running 1 Macbook Pro with an Element24 and 1 Mac Pro with an Element88. Instead of syncing with MIDI, we're using Ableton's new "Link".

We use a Moog Voyager on one station, and a Subsequent 37 on the other. It's important we get our sync right, especially with oscillations and arps.

I thought it would be good to do the master word clock process again - and picked up a used Big Ben and some nice cables and terminators to connect the two interfaces.

Seemed like they are better in sync, but hard to tell. However, mixing a 32 track song with the Mac Pro using external word clock started giving me clicks and pops - while if I ran the Element88 with it's internal clock, no problem at all!

I chatted with Apogee support this morning, and they told me something that was came as a shock and was humbling. That using WC connecting the two Elements together is a waste of effort. That it only is of use if I was connecting them with digital (adat etc)- not sending the audio out of the Element24 and inputting it into the Element88.

Now I am really confused. I thought if they are two digital devices (which they are) their clock sync would help keep everything tight.

Are there techniques I am missing - considering how off base I was with this concept for 10 years? Is there a better way?

Thanks for any input!

Last edited by bluedot; 3 weeks ago at 04:47 AM.. Reason: So maybe my question will be seen
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Yes. Seems you didn't know what word clock is or what its purpose was because 90% of what you wrote is wrong.
Apogee at least steered you to the truth.

Word clock is for keeping sample/pulse sync when transmitting digital signal between devices. It has nothing to do with transport sync or analog audio transfer. It does not "tighten" anything.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Here for the gear
 
bluedot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
Yes. Seems you didn't know what word clock is or what its purpose was because 90% of what you wrote is wrong.
Apogee at least steered you to the truth.

Word clock is for keeping sample/pulse sync when transmitting digital signal between devices. It has nothing to do with transport sync or analog audio transfer. It does not "tighten" anything.
Hey! Thanks for agreeing I was wrong. I appreciate that affirmation.

Yet, the reason of the post is I'm reaching out for assistance in sync. I've used MIDI, and ableton LINK, but it's not tight when using attached analog hardware.

I'm looking for a studio wide sync of DAW's and external hardware.

Guess I should look elsewhere, to synth and electronic music forums.?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 

It doesn't exist. That's part of the beauty of analogue synths. The most you get is responsiveness to MIDI beat clock. Each piece of hardware is dependent on the designer. Even going back to CV triggers, that's how it worked.

Now pure electric hardware can be in perfect sync to a beat clock (say, a Virus, for instance)

You either accept the medium for what it is or abandon it. You can try to manually re-time things as printed audio -- that is where people have gotten carried away with beat slicing and creating their own REX files. But none of those things are in real time in the analog domain.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Here for the gear
 
bluedot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
It doesn't exist. That's part of the beauty of analogue synths. The most you get is responsiveness to MIDI beat clock. Each piece of hardware is dependent on the designer. Even going back to CV triggers, that's how it worked.

Now pure electric hardware can be in perfect sync to a beat clock (say, a Virus, for instance)

You either accept the medium for what it is or abandon it. You can try to manually re-time things as printed audio -- that is where people have gotten carried away with beat slicing and creating their own REX files. But none of those things are in real time in the analog domain.
Luckily I wasn't discouraged by this response. Looked at other forums dedicated to synths and old hardware. Here's a couple solutions I will be looking into:

Innerclock Systems


E-RM Multiclock
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Telling lies isn’t being helpful. Telling you to spend money on devices that just convert one sync format to another doesn’t make it more accurate. The problem is DAW people and those who only understand “digital” don’t get that sync is dependent on what the hardware on the other end is doing with sync. And that’s an analogue process for true analogue synths and dependent on the designer of those synths. Most of those are manipulated by a MIDI to control voltage method now.

It will never be “plugin” accurate sync or DAW accurate. Both of those are digital. Even MIDI is not close to sample accurate because it is serial data that was designed in the 70s that requires multiple pieces of data to form sync that gets sent in a series of pulses that then needs translation.

You can get a series of analogue synths to be accurate to each other in that analogue domain. If you throw a DAW in that mix, it will not be as accurate to the DAW.

Good luck.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Here for the gear
 
bluedot's Avatar
Expert Sleepers

Expert Sleepers USAMO box is an inexpensive option that is well documented here.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Here for the gear
 
bluedot's Avatar
It did work for 10 years! How? MTC

Searching and searching thru specialized synthesizer forums, the light bulb finally lit up. Before we went with the Apogee Element series, we were using Motu 828's and Travelers. They had MIDI that was wired between their Ins/outs. I ran a separate cheap ART master time clock to these two devices. The MOTU's converted the WC to "sample accurate" SMPTE and MTC (Midi Time Code, not Midi Clock). This sync'd the two devices to be sample accurate.

It was seamless.

I thought I would be able to do that with the two Elements via WC and it would sync them like the MOTU's. No - because they do not support SMPTE since they have no MIDI, they are not generating MTC!

So it appears I was correct all those years when using the MOTU interfaces (FW400) and it is possible to get accurate MTC sync if you use a master clock for Ableton Live midi input, not output. As they state in their "Synchronizing Live via MIDI" help page:

MIDI Timecode is the recommended option if the external sequencer supports this, as MTC has a better resolution. However, MIDI Timecode does not transmit any tempo information. You'll need to set the tempo manually in Live to match the tempo of the master sequencer.

Additionally we would run a virtual midi network session to sync Midi Clock, while one MOTU was always Master. This is explained as such on the above linked page:

"To improve sync*stability, where possible use a dedicated MIDI port to transmit MIDI Sync messages alone, rather than using a MIDI port where MIDI Note*and Control Change*messages are transmitted as well."

I hope this helps anyone else going through syncing two Live workstations and midi.Without all the information Apogee couldn't understand how we expected their device to do what the MOTU did.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
Here for the gear
 
bluedot's Avatar
And an amazing thread showing the nuances of this question is here:
An Midi Clock-MTC-MMC & synchronization resource thread
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
JayTee4303's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedot View Post
I had been using a master word clock for about a decade to sync two different Mac Book Pro's, running Ableton Live & Motu 828's. We sync'd with MIDI, and the master word clock seemed to tighten up the sync. Or at least I thought it did! We did a lot of live remixing those years.

Fast forward to today. We're running 1 Macbook Pro with an Element24 and 1 Mac Pro with an Element88. Instead of syncing with MIDI, we're using Ableton's new "Link".

We use a Moog Voyager on one station, and a Subsequent 37 on the other. It's important we get our sync right, especially with oscillations and arps.

I thought it would be good to do the master word clock process again - and picked up a used Big Ben and some nice cables and terminators to connect the two interfaces.

Seemed like they are better in sync, but hard to tell. However, mixing a 32 track song with the Mac Pro using external word clock started giving me clicks and pops - while if I ran the Element88 with it's internal clock, no problem at all!

I chatted with Apogee support this morning, and they told me something that was came as a shock and was humbling. That using WC connecting the two Elements together is a waste of effort. That it only is of use if I was connecting them with digital (adat etc)- not sending the audio out of the Element24 and inputting it into the Element88.

Now I am really confused. I thought if they are two digital devices (which they are) their clock sync would help keep everything tight.

Are there techniques I am missing - considering how off base I was with this concept for 10 years? Is there a better way?

Thanks for any input!
It may help if you describe more accurately what you wish to synchronize.

From your OP, I'm... guessing... you want arps lined up... ok... perhaps LFO timing between two synths... maybe...and possibly... peaks and valleys on disparate hardware synth oscillator waveforms?

Several Orders Of Magnitude difference between those objectives. 120 beats per minute... versus 10-12 thousand cycles per second.

Resolution for BPM might run 96 ticks per quarter note, or 384 ticks per minute. To achieve that level of resolution with 10 khz sine waves, you need about 58... million.. ticks per minute.

We run somewhere between 10 and 15 PCs here on a given day, synced up as needed. Never any problems syncing arpeggiators. Waveforms... well...

We use ADAT for room to room audio signal transport. Depending on the setup, we can get adequate lock with audio signals... sometimes.. and other times... there are obstacles.

One ADAT hop... say a signal played back on the master DAW, leaves that machine's Toslink port A, passes thru the fiber, and enters the same PC's Toslink port B... a simple loopback circuit, will "arrive"...(and be recorded) one sample "late", as compared to the source signal. I don't think you can better this timing without advanced predictive analysis.

We do video, and standard sample rates here are 48k.

I have not yet found it necessary to reach for tighter timing than that, EXCEPT in certain artist's monitoring situations, where one signal teaches cans or a monitor by multiple patchs, creating phase issues and or audible delays, in which case we re-route.. or start over.

There MAY be leverage for you.. using an "ADAT stripe" for sync purposes, and then again, you may be... "reaching too far."

I can't really tell without better understanding exactly what two signals you wish to synchronize.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 

New to Ableton´s link. Did you experiment with the new Start/Stop sync preference?


In principle, if you record the tracks to each computer individually the files should be in sync once you import them to one system.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
Here for the gear
 
bluedot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayTee4303 View Post
It may help if you describe more accurately what you wish to synchronize.
Thanks for your input JayTee.

The first order of magnitude is the DAW timeline in Ableton Live. Ableton LINK and midi clock is flaky, it jitters and drifts after 8 bars. Our arps are created ITB and the MIDI sent to the Moogs. When we record say 32 bars back of the audio from the Moog, its out of sync with the grid that was sent it. Slightly - but I can hear it and see it on the timeline. Seems most folk don't notice this, as they all go "Use Link! It's awesome"

It becomes difficult to lay longer evolving synth parts if I am required to work with small sections to maintain sync.

Second is synth oscillations of tying a Subsequent 37 together with an older Voyager, but we're finding CV is helping this quite a bit. We'll be experimenting with this more in the coming weeks after bringing a Subsequent 37 CV into the studio for more connections.

It appears I am going to need to go back to MOTU 828es's to get the MTC and Word Clock between laptops. I have really liked working with the Apogee Elements though, and can't seem to find another outboard box that does the WC/MTC separate from the I/O.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 
JayTee4303's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedot View Post
Thanks for your input JayTee.

The first order of magnitude is the DAW timeline in Ableton Live. Ableton LINK and midi clock is flaky, it jitters and drifts after 8 bars. Our arps are created ITB and the MIDI sent to the Moogs. When we record say 32 bars back of the audio from the Moog, its out of sync with the grid that was sent it. Slightly - but I can hear it and see it on the timeline. Seems most folk don't notice this, as they all go "Use Link! It's awesome"

It becomes difficult to lay longer evolving synth parts if I am required to work with small sections to maintain sync.

Second is synth oscillations of tying a Subsequent 37 together with an older Voyager, but we're finding CV is helping this quite a bit. We'll be experimenting with this more in the coming weeks after bringing a Subsequent 37 CV into the studio for more connections.

It appears I am going to need to go back to MOTU 828es's to get the MTC and Word Clock between laptops. I have really liked working with the Apogee Elements though, and can't seem to find another outboard box that does the WC/MTC separate from the I/O.
LFO synth oscillations or primary oscillator oscillations?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
Here for the gear
 
bluedot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayTee4303 View Post
LFO synth oscillations or primary oscillator oscillations?

Primarily primary oscillator oscillations.


I think a big issue with Link is we're using Wifi, instead of a wired LAN connection. Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter shows tomorrow, and we'll see if that helps the stability of Link.

I would sure like it to, as I don't want to move away from the Apogee Elements....
Old 2 weeks ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
JayTee4303's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedot View Post
Primarily primary oscillator oscillations.


I think a big issue with Link is we're using Wifi, instead of a wired LAN connection. Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter shows tomorrow, and we'll see if that helps the stability of Link.

I would sure like it to, as I don't want to move away from the Apogee Elements....
Ok, well, there... you're stepping pretty far outside of any experience or help I might offer.

A local peer is making a name for himself in multi-site broadcast audio for video installations, and I know he's working with extremely tight timing criteria, using ethernet, perhaps even experimental or beta protocols, but that's as far as my understanding goes. Maybe search... AES-67...?

Except... sync problems here often resolve via an altered approach, often at foundation level. Instead of re-programming an H9, where all the presets were "over the top" wet, we started playing into what was there to begin with, which opened up a lot of doors, system wide. Go with what we have, instead of fighting the current to spawn.

On the FM side, I have a DX7, a VZ-10m, and multiple software options, so I've thought about monster patches using all 14 hardware operators... or more, augmented with software.

One possible solution to synchronized risetimes that I considered was work distribution. Maybe have the 6 DX-7 operators cover the initial transient, while the 8 VZ-10m operators pick up from there with a subharmonic sustain.

Leveraging a 3 to 1 miking distance type effect via amplitude, and a spread of octaves, to help avoid phase cancellation and reinforcement issues.

Another approach, possibly in combination with workflow control as described above, might be a third box...

Instead of a master PC driving one synth, while a slave tries to keep up, driving the second synth, perhaps a master driving TWO slave PCs, each in charge of its respective synth, and theoretically, at least, both subject to similar chase-lock issues, unlike a single master and slave.

So far, theory is as far as I've taken this. It's on the list, but not at the top... yet.

Way up... at the arp level...

I'd found Blue Arp, and was interested in exploiting it, but Sonar, our primary DAW since 1988, would choke on more than one instance. Greywolf, the originator, had videos up with 4 or 5 instances running on FL Studio, so we simply cut to the chase and brought FL up on a support machine, and sure enough, multiple arps sync up fine there, now.

In fact... they sync well with the single instance running on the Sonar I7 as well. Or they sync with the Sonar step sequencer... or both.

Most of the time.

Every so often, they get squirrelly. At that point, I follow the standard for PC trouble shooting. 1... Stop both DAWs, restart. 2... Bounce either Sonar or FL, or both programs. 3... Bounce either or both PCs. That brings order back... to the point where arp-sync isn't a creative obstacle here, these days.

One thing that may be helping here... the primary MIDI interface is a Mio-10. With 56 MIDI ports in one box, of which 16 are dedicated to each of two PCs via USB, I have to assume that the Mio-10 has a more competent backplane than say... a 4 or 8 port MIDI interface. Here, the limiting factor isn't the data rate on one port. Instead, like an ethernet switch, the backplane, or aggregate total thru-put, might not handle the needs of all available ports, simultaneously. For now, the Mio-10 doesn't seem to be a bottleneck.

I haven't tested this idea directly, but...

In my standard Project Template, I have dedicated three MIDI I/O ports on each PC to data transfer.

MIDI melody track on PC 1, driving an arpeggiator on PC 2, piping data back to PC 1 to drive a softsynth or hardware. One of several options. It works. I don't hesitate to use it, but...

The Sonar I7 drives 4 monitors at Full HD res. The GPU is Nvidia, and yes, that machine has DPC issues. Explored, and only partially resolved, using LatencyMon.

Until I swap the GPU out for an ATI, I've disabled 1 of the 4 (since the FL box is using it, anyway) and brought the color space down to 16 bit on the other 3. This reduces hung and dropped notes, but still, every once in a while, a slow DPC causes a hang or dropped note.

Therefore... again... workflow distribution is part of success. I generally use the I7 for tracking digital audio, where the DPC issue does NOT interfere, and let the support box generate that audio. IF I have to distribute processing, I'll run ONE arp on the I7, get in, get it done, and get back out, fingers crossed.

JunkieXL is into some of this, but I haven't seen much detail on how he syncs his rig. This subject isn't exactly mainstream... yet.

There's a Gearslut who also runs a good size synth farm, I'm surprised he hasn't already been in this thread yet. He also carefully directs workflow, often using older machines as single purpose "outboard." One synth, or VST effect, not true distributed processing, or not at audio frequency sync levels.

Enough for today... my thumb is tired.

:-)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #16
Here for the gear
 
bluedot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayTee4303 View Post
Ok, well, there... you're stepping pretty far outside of any experience or help I might offer.....

Enough for today... my thumb is tired.

:-)
Thats some great information. Thank you for the input.

I've spent some time at Muff Wigglers forums, where many are doing the same as us. They have had great luck with Link. We realized the difference is there's is wired, while we were using Wifi.

So I picked up an ethernet - thunderbolt converter, some Cat7 cables and removed the Wifi from the two machines.

With a 6ms delay set, we're lined up at the downbeat. We're now only out of sync from drift .002-.004 in 24 bars. Much better, but not quite good enough. My search continues.

I think I will pick up a setup of MOTU 828es's use the Big Ben word clock to TMC and do some more testing. Kinda hate to go back to MOTU, but I hear their A/D conversion has gotten much better.

Last edited by bluedot; 2 weeks ago at 03:49 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
Here for the gear
 
bluedot's Avatar
Deep diving into this subject a bit further, Ableton Live can now send CV out into the synths with their new CV tools. Now we have sample accurate inputs out of a DC controlled I/O Device (such as MOTU). Crazy!
https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/ar...-Technical-FAQ

Expert Sleepers has been doing CV out of interfaces for quite awhile, and have tested many I/O devices to carry CV through their suite of plugins.
https://www.expert-sleepers.co.uk/silentway.html

Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedot View Post
Searching and searching thru specialized synthesizer forums, the light bulb finally lit up. Before we went with the Apogee Element series, we were using Motu 828's and Travelers. They had MIDI that was wired between their Ins/outs. I ran a separate cheap ART master time clock to these two devices. The MOTU's converted the WC to "sample accurate" SMPTE and MTC (Midi Time Code, not Midi Clock). This sync'd the two devices to be sample accurate.

It was seamless.

I thought I would be able to do that with the two Elements via WC and it would sync them like the MOTU's. No - because they do not support SMPTE since they have no MIDI, they are not generating MTc.
I’m not going to delve into the rest of this post, because this is fundamentally incorrect.

WC is “sample release” sync, not positional information. There is NOTHING in a word clock signal that tells you what beat or bar you’re at, or even any tempo information at all. It’s there to synchronise the release of audio samples, so that all devices are synchronised to allow digital data transfer without clicks and pops.

You can’t extract MTC or SMPTE from it, you run those alongside it.

As you were doing above with the midi cables.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
Here for the gear
 
bluedot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
I’m not going to delve into the rest of this post, because this is fundamentally incorrect.

WC is “sample release” sync, not positional information. There is NOTHING in a word clock signal that tells you what beat or bar you’re at, or even any tempo information at all. It’s there to synchronise the release of audio samples, so that all devices are synchronised to allow digital data transfer without clicks and pops.

You can’t extract MTC or SMPTE from it, you run those alongside it.

As you were doing above with the midi cables.
Check out MOTU's specs. They convert to MTC thru the MIDI cables if you are running WC.
http://motu.com/techsupport/technote...-03.5273196479

Of course this requires MTC in the DAW - which is supported by Ableton Live:
https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/ar...-Live-via-MIDI

Are you always so dismissive? Especially as a Moderator? Is Gearslutz always this snarky?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedot View Post
Check out MOTU's specs. They convert to MTC thru the MIDI cables if you are running WC.
http://motu.com/techsupport/technote...-03.5273196479
Of course this requires TMC in the DAW.

Are you always so dismissive? Especially as a Moderator?
You said “The MOTU's converted the WC to "sample accurate" SMPTE and MTC (Midi Time Code, not Midi Clock).“.

That’s not correct. It’s not being dismissive, I just know what word clock is and what it isn’t.

In the above example you’re running MTC for positional sync through midi, and WC for sample sync through those cables.

Word clock carries no midi information, ever. That’s not what it’s for.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #21
http://motu.com/techsupport/technote...m=Word%20clock

There you go - from that same site.

“Word Clock is a timing reference for digital audio devices; it supplies common timing to multiple devices so that they can be synchronized with one another.

Word clock is a time base reference only, providing a measurement of the passage of time and the speed at which samples should go by. Word clock carries no address or timecode information; therefore word clock by itself is not enough to sync two devices.

Some devices that use word clock include digital mixers, stand-alone hard disk recorders, computer-based digital audio workstations and computer audio cards.

When doing digital transfers between two different digital devices, some devices require word clock to be sent from one to the other. Two digital audio devices, such as a 2408 and a digital mixer must be connected via word clock cables to be synchronized to the same rate of digital audio, for playback to be consistent. The combination of SMPTE (address) and word clock (rate) is a complete sync scenario.”

I don’t mean to sound rude - I’m typing on a phone, trying to be to the point!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #22
Here for the gear
 
bluedot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
http://motu.com/techsupport/technote...m=Word%20clock

There you go - from that same site.

“Word Clock is a timing reference for digital audio devices; it supplies common timing to multiple devices so that they can be synchronized with one another.

Word clock is a time base reference only, providing a measurement of the passage of time and the speed at which samples should go by. Word clock carries no address or timecode information; therefore word clock by itself is not enough to sync two devices.

Some devices that use word clock include digital mixers, stand-alone hard disk recorders, computer-based digital audio workstations and computer audio cards.

When doing digital transfers between two different digital devices, some devices require word clock to be sent from one to the other. Two digital audio devices, such as a 2408 and a digital mixer must be connected via word clock cables to be synchronized to the same rate of digital audio, for playback to be consistent. The combination of SMPTE (address) and word clock (rate) is a complete sync scenario.”

I don’t mean to sound rude - I’m typing on a phone, trying to be to the point!
I give up with "gearsluts."

I'll work through synthesizer forums where people are trying to help each other instead of just trying to point out that others are wrong.

It doesn't help if solutions are not offered to sync my two computers / interfaces like I originally asked. I came here for assistance, not to be denigrated and dismissed like I have ran into on this thread.

My rep at Sweetwater gasped when I said I was trying to find the answer here on GearSlutz. I think he knew the hornets nest I was walking into.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedot View Post
I give up with "gearsluts."

I'll work through synthesizer forums where people are trying to help each other instead of just trying to point out that others are wrong.

It doesn't help if solutions are not offered to sync my two computers / interfaces like I originally asked. I came here for assistance, not to be denigrated and dismissed like I have ran into on this thread.

My rep at Sweetwater gasped when I said I was trying to find the answer here on GearSlutz. I think he knew the hornets nest I was walking into.
To be fair, one might want to take advice from someone who actually does it for a living, rather than someone who sells gear for a living.

You haven’t been dismissed at all. Apologies if you feel like you have. You stated something that’s fundamentally incorrect, and that misunderstanding is hampering if not preventing your solving your issues - but when pointed out you seem to be arguing that’s how you’ve always done it?! Even though it’s actually not.

As I said - I do apologise if you feel that by being to the point, I come over as rude. I don’t think that’s how I am, and at any rate that’s not the intent.

Syncing 2 computers positionally doesn’t actually need WC at all - you only really need MTC or SMPTE, and one app that can read it and one that can generate it. Really you can do it with 2 midi interfaces and that’s it. You only need WC if you want to sync digitally ie feed one rig into another digitally, or sum them both with a digital mixer or similar.

I really am trying to help, not dismiss...but if it’s not welcome, I won’t bother any more.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #24
Here for the gear
 
bluedot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
I’m not going to delve into the rest of this post, because this is fundamentally incorrect.

To be fair, one might want to take advice from someone who actually does it for a living, rather than someone who sells gear for a living.

I really am trying to help, not dismiss...but if it’s not welcome, I won’t bother any more.
Nobody was trying to sell me anything. He's been my friend for 15 years through 6 films and a bunch of music and remodels to my studio. He just was wary of me being on the forum. Personally, he just sends me stuff to try and if it works, I keep it. Otherwise it is returned.

My initial post asked why I was getting excellent sync from my old MOTU 828MKII's before switching to Apogee. I made the mistake thinking it was WC. I later explained I used a master clock between the two devices and midi cables, and MTC between them.

It's drift and sync with MC thats the problem. I am trying to find a tighter solution, thats the intent of this post. But instead, everyones focusing on my failed attempts while I am looking for a better solution.

This week, we have been using Link with gigabit ethernet and it helps, but I am still having drift.

The MOTU 828es shows if you connect via a master WC to the two devices as slaves, and connect them via MIDI you generate MTC that Ableton Live can read. Did you see that in the manual that I linked? Page 48 details sync with WC for MTC.
"Situations that require synchronization - Networking multiple MOTU interfaces together"
https://s3.amazonaws.com/motu-www-da...User_Guide.pdf
Old 2 weeks ago
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedot View Post
Nobody was trying to sell me anything. He's been my friend for 15 years through 6 films and a bunch of music and remodels to my studio. He just was wary of me being on the forum. Personally, he just sends me stuff to try and if it works, I keep it. Otherwise it is returned.
You described him as a salesman...what else am I meant to know about the relationship? Sure there’s bits of GS that are needlessly aggressive, but you really haven’t been treated badly - no one is really harming on about mistakes, but you repeatedly kept referring to WC as positional ref, that’s why we kept going back to it! Unless you understand the fundamentals it’s hard to sort out the details.


Quote:
The MOTU 828es shows if you connect via a master WC to the two devices as slaves, and connect them via MIDI you generate MTC that Ableton Live can read. Did you see that in the manual that I linked? Page 48 details sync with WC for MTC.
"Situations that require synchronization - Networking multiple MOTU interfaces together"
https://s3.amazonaws.com/motu-www-da...User_Guide.pdf
I read page 48 onward to 52 - it doesn’t mention MTC once, only LTC - ie SMPTE - which can be used for both positional AND sample based sync (although it’s better to resolve to WC for sample and LTC for positional).

Really though, MTC is only so precise - it doesn’t get amazingly tight. If you need tighter, you might need to incorporate some sort of LTC solution.

But - I’ve just read back through the discussion. I think something is fundamentally wrong with your setup. MTC might not be perfectly synced internally (ie there might be a bit of “wobble” between beats), but it shouldn’t drift out of sync so one workstation is significantly lagging the other (for example).

I’m not 100% sure the Element series is designed for what you’re doing. The MOTUs have a much better midi spec. But there’s nothing to stop you having the motus in the setup purely for midi, and keep using the audio on the Elements. Or do they still make the Midi timepieces? If so that might be a more cost effective solution, since they can read and generate LTC, convert to midi and everything in between!

I don’t think your issue is anything to do with analogue synths either - it’s a fundamental issue between the 2 computers.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #26
Here for the gear
 
bluedot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
You described him as a salesman...what else am I meant to know about the relationship? Sure there’s bits of GS that are needlessly aggressive, but you really haven’t been treated badly - no one is really harming on about mistakes, but you repeatedly kept referring to WC as positional ref, that’s why we kept going back to it! Unless you understand the fundamentals it’s hard to sort out the details.




I read page 48 onward to 52 - it doesn’t mention MTC once, only LTC - ie SMPTE - which can be used for both positional AND sample based sync (although it’s better to resolve to WC for sample and LTC for positional).

Really though, MTC is only so precise - it doesn’t get amazingly tight. If you need tighter, you might need to incorporate some sort of LTC solution.

But - I’ve just read back through the discussion. I think something is fundamentally wrong with your setup. MTC might not be perfectly synced internally (ie there might be a bit of “wobble” between beats), but it shouldn’t drift out of sync so one workstation is significantly lagging the other (for example).

I’m not 100% sure the Element series is designed for what you’re doing. The MOTUs have a much better midi spec. But there’s nothing to stop you having the motus in the setup purely for midi, and keep using the audio on the Elements. Or do they still make the Midi timepieces? If so that might be a more cost effective solution, since they can read and generate LTC, convert to midi and everything in between!

I don’t think your issue is anything to do with analogue synths either - it’s a fundamental issue between the 2 computers.
Thank you for taking the time with this. I see they are taking LTC and converting it to MTC that Ableton Reads for better sync per their knowledge base.

I agree, the Elements are audio only - and cannot be sync'd between them.

I'll order a couple of MOTU 828es tomorrow and see what happens. SOS says the A/D conversion is much better on the new devices. I also found out through this deep dive that the MOTU can send CV through their ins and outs, and that can be useful to our work.

Thanks again.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump